Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. Despite what you see and feel outside, we are less than three weeks aways from Spring. Enjoy Winter while you can. Grab whatever beverage that you need and let’s proceed.
Well, this is interesting.. It seems that the BMJ (formerly) British Medical Journal published a study questioning the advisability of breast cancer screening via mammography, and to say the least, the report is being excoriated.
Women questioning the value of screening mammography based on a recent study published in BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) should pause and look more closely at the data. Medical societies and breast cancer specialists across the nation agree: The data is flawed and misleading. There is no question that screening mammography saves lives.
There appear to be two huge flaws with the study. First, the study used obsolete scanning devices and the staff was not properly trained in the procedure. The second was, for a supposed randomized sampling, the test subjects were assigned to “test” and “control” groups in a non-randomized manner. Both of these errors are show-stoppers. I’d suspect that tBBC’s resident ‘lab rat’ (Eric) would not approve of these testing protocol shenanigans.
Next up, genetics!
“COLUMBUS, Ohio — A potential new gene mutation that might drive lung cancer development and growth has been identified by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James).
A multi-institutional team led by OSUCCC-James researchers reports the findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The study describes a patient with advanced lung cancer who was treated with the targeted drug sorafenib while on a clinical trial.”
A couple of things, here. First, this is another example of not so much “root cause analysis” as “root cause determination”. Cancer in particular, is not a one-size-fits-all disease in regards to prevention/treatment. This is more excellent work by the James. My second point, directed to those folks who “did” the breast cancer-mammogram “study” above; this is how you conduct clinical trials. Read More
Well, as you can imagine, it’s not all “rainbows and lollipops” in cancer research..
A drug that doctors were hoping would extend the lives of those with the most-common type of adult brain cancer has shown no benefit in a large study.
Researchers compared Avastin — generically called bevacizumab — to a placebo in more than 600 patients with glioblastoma and found similar survival rates. Worsened quality of life and a decline in cognitive function were more common in the group that received the drug…
The results point to a need to better understand how to personalize care for brain-cancer patients and figure out which ones — based on genetics and other factors — might respond best to which drugs, said Dr. Arnab Chakravarti, who had a leading role in the study and is chairman of radiation oncology at Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Unfortunately, that’s the way it goes too often, and why clinical trials are so critical to cancer care. As Dr Chakravarti states, it also highlights the need for a ‘personalized’ treatment protocol.
On the brighter side, The James has developed into a “destination” location for top cancer researchers this past decade.
“We’ve become a talent magnet,” he adds. “Cancer experts from all over the country are flocking here to be part of a world-class cancer-fighting team. If you talk to the physicians who are here now, they’ll tell you that this is one of the best places in the country and in the world.
“It’s one of the jewels in the crown of cancer care and cancer research.”
Click on the link to see the article and see the short video with Dr Michael Caligiuri. (Dr. Caligiuri is from Buffalo.. just thought that I’d throw that in. You’re welcome..) Read More
Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The basketball teams are within a month of ending their regular seasons. I hope that you all had a very nice weekend with the love of your life to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And St. Woody Day, as well.
I spilled quite a bit of ink with this WW, and it is a bit different. So, grab whatever beverage that you need, and possibly a back-up and let’s proceed.
More on this imposing figure later.
“All politics is local”, said former Congressman Top O’Neill. The same can be said for health care. Way back in the Fall of 2012, before I came on board here at tBBC, I’d asked Mali to do me a personal favor and run this article, concerning bone marrow donation. I remain grateful, since the article explained the issues that my cousin was dealing with at the time. We’re still searching, but a marrow match has yet to be found. Meanwhile, the wolves have been kept at bay via a stem cell implant. A significant “band-aid” to be sure, but certainly not the needed answer.
During this time, one of their sons (a Penn State student-athlete at the time) asked fellow PSU’ers to be tested as possible donors, and the response was, and continues to be outstanding. Moving to the present, this video is an interview with Kim and Jim, and tells of the current status of my cousin’s bone marrow search, the participation of students as bone marrow donors and the work yet to be done. You can do your part by merely swabbing the inside of your cheek. These samples are analyzed by the National Marrow Donor Program, and when genetic matches are found, the process begins.
Samples continue to be submitted, donors-recipients matched and people are helped. Obviously, this is an ongoing effort. As tenacious a disease that cancer is, we have to be even more so to beat it. I’d like to thank Channel 4 (WCMH) in Columbus for their features on this topic.
FDA approves Imbruvica to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Read More
Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The men’s basketball team seems to be finding its way, the women’s team is still in the wilderness and the football team had a very successful Letter of Intent Signing Day. Grab whatever beverage that you prefer, or need, and let’s proceed.
The findings by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), might offer a new strategy for inhibiting tumor growth by developing agents that reverse this hypoxia-related pathway.
The study focuses on how cancer cells use the amino acid glutamine, the most common amino acid found free in the bloodstream. Under normal oxygen levels, healthy cells use glutamine largely to produce energy, with a small amount diverted to make fatty acids and lipids.
So, we had a big day on Wednesday, eh? Twenty-three new members of the Buckeye Family. Honestly, I didn’t follow the entire process too closely, but did pay attention at the end. Your milage and sorting may vary, but here’s how I interpreted the signees “positions”. Read More
Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The basketball teams are swimming upstream, if not circling the drain right now, and the current is strong. Grab whatever beverage that you need and let’s proceed.
The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic
First up today; we know that stress can be a killer. Researchers at The James have come up with evidence that practicing yoga can reduce fatigue and inflammation in breast cancer survivors.
At the six-month point of the study – three months after the formal yoga practice had ended – results showed that on average, fatigue was 57 percent lower in women who had practiced yoga compared to the non-yoga group, and their inflammation was reduced by up to 20 percent.
Though many studies have suggested that yoga has numerous benefits, this is the largest known randomized controlled trial that includes biological measures, says study lead author Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD. Researchers recruited 200 women for the study.
This is a good outcome. Breast cancer treatment protocols can be intense and hard on the patient. And, as you know, inflammation leads to a myriad of other health issues. Chalk one up for Eastern health practices.
Here’s a brief video (1:30 or so) of Dr. Goldberg giving an example of personalized cancer treatment at The James’ new facility
Well now, it seems that The Ohio State University has a new President, Dr. Michael Drake, current/former chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. I’ll have to familiarize myself with Dr. Drake, but this is a positive for me:
“Prior to Chancellor Drake’s arrival at UC Irvine, he served for five years as vice president for health affairs for the University of California system, overseeing academic program policy for the system’s 15 health science schools, located on seven campuses. He is a member of both the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences..”
Dr. Drake has a pretty solid background in medicine, arts & sciences. I approve. Oh, and the quote and link are from Mr. Schottenstein, Chairman of OSU’s Board of Trustees, because that’s how I roll. I would like to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Dr. Drake.
Women’s Basketball: McGuff’s crew had a huge win against Illinois and now visit Wisconsin, in Madison, this afternoon. At this point in the season you can see how being a team in transition is creating the inconsistencies in their play. They are fun to watch, because although there are days they can’t make a shot, they always give their full effort. Let’s enjoy the ride.
Men’s basketball: I don’t know what to say at this point. I’ll let you fill in the narrative.
If you’re thinking of taking up yoga, maybe Three Dog Night’s Road to Shambala will get you pointed in the right direction.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The basketball teams are swimming upstream right now, and the current is strong. We see the destination, we need to just keep stroking. Grab whatever beverage that you need and let’s proceed.
The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic
This is “virus” week on Weekend Wonderings. Let’s start with a brief refresher. From Berkeley Wellness article on August 2012:
“One in every six cases of cancer worldwide can be attributed to viruses and other infectious agents, a new study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer has confirmed.”
Which leads us to findings that the HPV virus can damage genes:
“Our sequencing data showed in vivid detail that HPV can damage host-cell genes and chromosomes at sites of viral insertion,” says co-senior author David Symer, MD, PhD, assistant professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at the OSUCCC – James.
“HPV can act like a tornado hitting the genome, disrupting and rearranging nearby host-cell genes,” Symer explains. “This can lead to overexpression of cancer-causing genes in some cases, or it can disrupt protective tumor-suppressor genes in others. Both kinds of damage likely promote the development of cancer.”
Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. Researchers at The James were awarded a sizeable grant, and the Buckeye football team added to its coaching staff. Other than that, not much going on. Grab whatever beverage you need and let’s proceed.
The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic
After receiving a 5-year grant renewal to study thyroid cancer in September 2013, the James was awarded an additional 5-year, $11.3 million grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study and treat thyroid cancer. This project will be led by Matthew D Ringel, MD.
“Thyroid cancer incidence rates are rising faster than all cancers in the United States, making it the fifth most common malignancy in women and 11th most common in men,” says Ringel.
According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 60,000 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer annually in the United States and nearly 535,000 are currently living with the disease.
Additionally, here is a short (3:59) video with Dr. Michael Caligiuri explaining the new home of The James and an overview of new treatment processes. These are exciting times at The James, and we should be proud that it is an integral part of the Ohio State community. Read More
Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonderings. The Buckeye football season ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. The basketball teams are beginning to engage in conference play to keep our attention.
Hopefully none of you suffered too much from the recent polar vortex induced weather. And if you did, you’re thawed out by now. Grab whatever beverage you’d like and let’s proceed.
The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society just announced the award of $12.5 million in grants to 21 studies in 6 areas. Please click the link to get the details. Among the awardees:
In response to requests for proposals (RFPs) from researchers in these six critical areas, LLS has awarded these grants under its Translational Research Program (TRP), an initiative designed to help accelerate the movement of promising discoveries from the lab to the clinic. Each grant is for a three-year duration with a total value of $600,000.
Good luck Dr. Baiocchi.
Here’s a two-fer for you. Sign up for a fitness boot camp conducted by John Simon/Anthony Schlegel and make a contribution to the Urban and Shelly Meyer Fund. It’s never too soon to start on your New Year’s resolutions while contributing to a significant cause.